Friday, February 17, 2006

Jay Rosen and White House pushback

Mark Tapscott has a good post on the reality check experienced by the White House press corps and the MSM generally from this latest silliness over Dick Cheney. He praises journalism prof Jay Rosen for recognizing that the Bush White House developed a new strategy for dealing with the press. And he criticizes Rosen for failing to understand why. Rosen sees an attempt to repeal the First Amendment freedom of the press.

I have noticed the same problem with Rosen. If you read his whole piece, you will see that he buys into the entire litany of left-wing wacko accusations of the evil Bush. Just as bad, he denies that the MSM has a left-wing partisan bias (discrediting journalists as liberal is something the GOP cooked up to excite the base).

Tapscott has it right. Bush and Cheney understand that the MSM generally, and the White House press corps specifically, will not treat them in a fair and unbiased manner. So they go around them to get their message out. He writes:
Like it or not, the mainstream national media long ago lost much of its credibility with the public and has for many years been losing great chunks of its audience to Talk Radio, cable news and the Internet. The MSM is no longer the mainstream or national.

Indeed, one can make the case that entirely apart from ideological considerations it is rapidly becoming possible to communicate effectively with the general public without according the shrinking mainstream media anything remotely like the respect it once commanded. And still demands.

And nobody in this or any other White House is naive or stupid enough to think they can silence Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly or Powerline. Or DailyKos, MyDD or Comments from Left Field. Or PressThink, Tapscott's Copy Desk or (Lord help them if they ever try) Jeff Jarvis!

Bottomline: Rollback means "reality check."


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